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Ind. says it has the right to pick and choose which marriages it recognizes

Thursday, June 19, 2014
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INDIANAPOLIS — States have the right to decide which out-of-state licenses they choose to recognize, including marriage licenses, attorneys for Indiana argued in a brief filed with a federal appeals court.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller (R-Ind.)

Attorney General Greg Zoeller (R-Ind.)

The filing by the Indiana attorney general’s office Wednesday in the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago was in response to U.S. District Judge Richard Young’s ruling last month ordering Indiana to recognize the marriage of Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney of Munster.

The same sex-couple was married last year in Massachusetts.

Young’s ruling applies only to Sandler and Quasney, who is terminally ill with ovarian cancer. The couple wants their marriage to be recognized on Quasney’s death certificate to make certain Sandler can obtain death benefits.

Bryan Corbin, a spokesman for Indiana attorney general Greg Zoeller, said in a news release Thursday there is no federal due process right to have a license issued in one state treated as valid by government and courts in another.

He said if states were required to do so, they would have to recognize and treat as valid one another’s law licenses, medical licenses, concealed-carry gun permits and other licenses.

Young last month issued a preliminary injunction extending an earlier temporary restraining order forcing the state to list Amy Sandler as the spouse of Niki Quasney on a death certificate after Quasney dies. Young did not rule on whether Indiana’s gay marriage ban is unconstitutional. That ruling is expected to come later.

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